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Pharmacy eResources: PharmD

PharmD Quick Links


Catalogue search - LImit to online if you want an ebook.  Remember that results of a catalogue search are sorted by relevance.

Article Searches

  • Anticholinergic Effects of Drugs Commonly Prescribed for the elderly
  • A Classification for Biomedical Research Reports
  • Health Economics: An Introduction for Clinicians by Drummond
  • Program Logic Models: Expanding their Role and Structure for Program Planning and Evaluation

Medline vs Embase

Medline Embase
North American emphasis. Created by National Library of Medicine in U.S. About 5,600 journals. European (Asian) Emphasis.  Created by Elsevier, a publisher in the Netherlands. About 8,300 journals
Different interfaces: e.g. OVID, PubMed Indexes more drug journals than Medline and has more drug indexing terms.
  Good coverage of alternative medicine

You need to search each database separately because the controlled vocabulary can be very different from one to the other.

E.g. A search for drug-induced liver injury -

  • In Medline, the MeSH heading is Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury
  • In Embase, the subject heading is Toxic Hepatitis


More information about the differences:

Demo Case

Characteristics: 55+ year old female patient, postmenopausal. She was assessed for the presence of osteoporosis. Decision made to begin a therapeutic regimen of a bisphosphonate to prevent onset of osteoporosis. Patient is reluctant to take the medication because a friend of hers was given a drug for her osteoporosis and her jaw became very sore and some of her teeth became loose.

What do we need to know?

  • Medication history of patient? i.e. is she taking any corticosteroids, etc.
  • Risk of jaw osteonecrosis for patients on bisphosphonates? Other adverse effects?
  • Length of therapy?

Topic -> question

  • For a post-menopausal patient taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis prevention, what is the risk of jaw necrosis?
  • What is the recommended length of therapy of bisphosphonates for osteoporosis prevention?

PICO Model


Search terms

P= Patient, problem, population

Female, post-menopausal, at risk of osteoporosis

I = Intervention


C= Comparison


O= Outcome(s)

Osteoporosis prevention, assess/evaluate the. risk of jaw necrosis

 Things to consider before searching information resources:

List synonyms for: conditions, drugs, etc.

  • Bisphophonates :  Alendronate, Risedronate, Itidronate
  • Jaw necrosis : Osteonecrosis, bone necrosis, osteonecrosis of the jaw/mandible

Think about:

  • What are you using the information for? Patient education, treatment guidelines/policies, clinical education/instruction
  • How you want to combine your search terms
  • Terminology: Natural vs. controlled language terms (i.e. keyword or MeSH or EMTREE)
  • Ways you can apply limits to your search results, etc. (pub year, language, type of study)

Sample Cases

34 year old female with 2 year history of systemic lupus erythematosus with continued symptoms despite methotrexate 25 mg weekly and hydroxychloroquine 400 mg daily requests information regarding the use of belimumab to control her symptoms.

Question: For patients with SLE, what is efficacy and safety of belimumab as adjunctive therapy in patients with symptoms despite other immunosuppressive therapy?


24 year old female comes into your pharmacy. She heard on the radio that some birth control pills increase your risk of blood clots. She’s been taking Yaz (drospirenone/ethinyl estradiol) as an oral contraceptive for the last 3 months, but is worried because her cousin developed a DVT last year. She wonders if there is another safer oral contraceptive option.

Question: For otherwise healthy women, what is the risk of venous thromboembolism with Yaz compared to other combination oral contraceptives.


Jim is a 65 year old male who was admitted to hospital with an exacerbation of heart failure. He has received furosemide 80 mg IV BID but has failed to loose weight and his SOB has not gotten any better. The residents want to start Jim on a furosemide infusion but you don't know if it will be better in improving his symptoms of CHF


You are caring for a 64 year old gentleman who has angina.  He has been asking if he should be sent for a procedure such as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) instead of taking his medications. He is wondering if one is better than the other for keeping him symptom free and preventing heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.


33 year old male with stable depression (previous suicide attempt and hospitalization ~5 years ago) on citalopram 40mg po daily. Patient is currently a 1 pack per day smoker and would like to quit smoking using varenicline (Champix). The patient and physician would like to know if this is safe for him to use as a pharmacological smoking cessation aid.

Challenging Search Concepts


Community Based Research and Ethics of Research with People who Use Illicit Drugs.

A possible search strategy.  Needs work.  All keywords because there are no acceptable MeSH.

CBR or CBPR or Community-Based Research* or Community-based adj2 research* or Cooperative behav* or Community adj2 research* or Participatory adj2 research* or Collaborative research* or Community-engaged research* or Action research* or Action Science or Community Development* or Community Organi* or Community Partner* or Community Particip* or  Community-led research or Community-led or User-led adj2 research or User-led or Community Collaborat* or Collaborative inquiry or Community Involve* or Involving Communit* or Community Empower* or Empowering Communit* or Community driven or Community-driven or consumer involve* or involving consumer or community action or Community-action